In the first of a series of articles profiling start-up, specialist adventure travel companies whose tours are featured on Frontiers of Travel, and in conjunction with Black Frog Publishing's Spotlight series, we look at Infinite Adventures who bring a unique take on overlanding by travelling to the Last Frontier of Alaska in a remodelled old school bus!
After spending several years travelling the world and working as tour leaders, Natalie Morawietz and Dave Patrick decided to set up their own overlanding company. Realising that the vast open spaces and natural wonders of North America were ideally suited to overlanding, they chose to focus on western USA. And to bring a particularly American feel to thier company, they bought a classic old yellow school bus and repainted and refurbished it into a spacious and fully equipped overlanding truck, named Atka (right).
Starting in 2013, Infinite will run several 17-day trips in Alaska each summer, exploring the superb vistas and wildlife of the state's national parks, its quaint towns as well as many opportunities for hiking, kayaking, fishing, ice climbing and more. Then in the autumn (or fall!) they'll head back to the mainland for tours of the west coast, southwest, national parks and the Rockies.
Recently Natalie spoke to Andy and Kirsty at Black Frog Publishing about why they set up Infinite Adventures and why North America is a great overlanding destination.
Why did you set up Infinite Adventures?
Spending the last few years working for Dragoman throughout the Middle East, Africa and South America, we realized what the North American travel market was missing: Overland Vehicles. Most of the adventure companies in the US are running around with 15 seat passenger vans and trailers attached. We thought: Why not build a vehicle that can carry more passengers, have more space and is more like a “home” for everyone? With bigger windows that roll down and enable perfect wildlife and landscape shots?
Why did you choose to concentrate on North America?
One reason I just mentioned: The North America adventure travel market has hardly any overland vehicles and we think it’s also a perfect way of travelling in a western country. North America has many beautiful remote places to visit and long distances to cover (especially in Alaska where there are still many gravel roads). Why not do it more comfortably in a vehicle that has more space and is perfectly equipped for being outdoors and camping? We will also run trips from Seattle all the way down to Denver and cover all the great National Parks…
Additionally, Dave was lucky enough to be stationed in Alaska, “The Last Frontier” when he was leading trips throughout North America and fell in love with this place. It was every Trek America tour leader’s goal to get a season up there. With the amazing scenery, activities, animals and locals, there’s never a dull moment. Yes, sometimes the weather is a bit unpredictable (you get everything from rain and chilly temperatures to sun and quite warm weather), but if you’re prepared with your gear it’s an epic adventure with daylight up to 20 hours!
Why should people travel with Infinite Adventures?
If you like outdoor activities and nature and want to explore the amazing culture, landscape and animals of Alaska or concentrate on the beautiful National Parks in the Western US like Yosemite, Arches National Park, the Death Valley or hike along one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon, I believe going on an overland trip is the best way to do it. You will be right out in the wilderness with our remodelled school bus being self-sufficient and enjoying evenings round the campfire. We are a small company and will be leading all of the trips ourselves. We absolutely love our job and as owners we will be flexible enough to make every trip a unique experience.
To read more from Nat about Infinite Adventures and life on the road, check out Black Frog's Spotlight Blog. If you're interested in jumping aboard Atka and exploring Alaska and the Western United States, see more details about these trips on their website.
Check our Tour Search page for a huge selection of small group tours from the world's most innovative travel companies.
If you run a start-up travel company running adventurous group tours and would like your trips featured on Frontiers of Travel, please contact us.
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